What do you know about papayas? Aside from being rich in vitamin C, folate and fiber, this delicious and exotic fruit also happens to be rich in a very special kind of digestive enzyme — namely, papain. When working in conjunction with bromelain (a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple), papain can do wonders for your digestive system and overall health.
But what exactly are the health benefits associated with this digestive enzyme? And more importantly, how safe are papain supplements?
In this article, we will be answering all of these questions — and more. But before doing this, let’s take a closer look at what papain is.
What is papain?
As we mentioned earlier, papain is a digestive enzyme found in papaya. Often referred as papaya protease, papain aids the body with the digestion and breaking down of tough protein fibers present in most people’s everyday diet. In South America, papain is often used as a digestive support for meat. But just like the benefits of bromelain are not limited to the digestive system, the benefits of papain are also not limited to boosting digestion and maintaining a healthy digestive system.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the other health benefits associated with this digestive enzyme, digestion aside.
What are the health benefits of papain?
Helps with wounds and other skin problems: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, papain has long been used for the treatment of burns, skin ulcers, bedsores and wound. Papain lotions are very easy to come by and can help speed up the healing process when applied on already healing skin.
Helps reduce inflammation in the prostate gland: When papain is used in conjunction with alternative medicines such as Quercetin, it has been shown to assist the body in the creation of anti-inflammatory agents. This effectively reduces swelling in the prostate gland area and prevents prostatisis.
How safe are papain supplements?
Papain is safe most of the time. We say “most” because possible complications exist — especially if you happen to be on a medication or two. Generally speaking, people who are on a blood thinning medication should avoid papain supplement. This is because papain thins the blood, and interaction with medications is a very real possibility. Likewise, it goes without saying that people who are allergic to papaya should refrain from ingesting papain supplements.
Other than that, papain supplements are usually considered safe to consume.